Tuesday, January 2, 2007

$20 bill snatched from elderly woman's hand

It's the new year and time to buy a new $1 membership card at the Carnegie Centre. That's what an elderly Chinese-Canadian woman had in mind on New Year's day as she headed up the front steps with a $20 bill in her hand

A guy snatched the bill and ran.

A bystander with crutches chased him but he was no match for the thief. The thief ran into the building and out onto the outdoor smoking patio where he must have jumped the fence by Chinatown to escape.

It's generally not dangerous to walk into the Carnegie Centre though. There are people who who have been regularly going there for 20 years without any trouble. There are security guards who stand in the lobby and tour the building.

Someone standing on the sidewalk might ask under their breathe if you want to buy crack or morphine or something. But if you ignore them, they don't persist.

The media's tendency to make the people on the Downtown Eastside seem to be living dangerous, degenerate, desperate lives in a hell is sometimes called "poornography". Anti-poverty activists criticize the media for doing this but they do it themselves. It attracts more funding.

A former Vancouver Police officer who now works for the Los Angeles police told a Vancouver newspaper that the Downtown Eastside is not a dangerous place for police officers to work. He took alot of flack for saying that because comments like that can undermine requests for increased funding. But that officer was telling the truth.